"Who will lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, or rather who is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us." Romans 8:33-34 (Read verses 18-39)
Have you ever been afraid that you would come short on Judgment Day -- that instead of being welcomed into heaven, you would be condemned to eternal suffering in hell because of your sins and shortcomings?
Those who continue on in their sinful ways and do not repent and look to Christ Jesus for pardon and forgiveness should be afraid because, apart from repentance and faith in Christ, they stand condemned to the eternal torments of hell. The Bible plainly says that "he who does not believe shall be condemned" (Mark 16:16; cf. John 3:18, 36).
But, to be honest, I think all Christians are troubled by such fears. After all, we know that "all have sinned and come short of the glory of God" (Rom. 3:23). We've read: "If you, LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?" (Psalm 130:3). And the obvious answer is no one, not a single one of us!
But need we as believers in Christ be afraid of God's judgment? Need we fear that we will be found wanting and condemned to the torments of hell? What does God's Word say?
"Who will lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, or rather who is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us" (Rom. 8:33-34).
Who is going to charge us with sin and condemn us? God chose us and all true believers to be His own from before the foundation of the world and, after bringing us to faith through the hearing of His life-giving Word, declared us just and righteous through faith in the sinless life and innocent sufferings and death of His only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ, in our stead.
Who will be our judge on the Last Day? It is Christ Jesus, who died for our sins and rose again and is even now interceding for us with His blood at the right hand of God the Father in heaven. Will He condemn those who look to Him in faith for mercy and forgiveness? Certainly not! He died to redeem us and save us from eternal death and damnation. He now pleads for us with His blood, which was shed to atone for the sins of the world.
Need we then be afraid of God's judgment? Not at all! Through faith in Christ we have been "justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Jesus Christ, whom God has set forth to be a propitiation, through faith in his blood" (Rom. 3:24-25). Or, as Psalm 130:4 says of God: "There is forgiveness with you so that you may be feared."
Jesus, Himself, said: "For this is how God loved the world: he gave his only-begotten Son, so that whoever believes in him, should not perish, but have eternal life" (John 3:16); and, "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears my word and believes in him who sent me has everlasting life and shall not come into condemnation, but has passed from death to life" (John 5:24).
When we look to Jesus and His cross in faith, we need not be afraid!
O gracious and merciful Savior, thank You for dying in my stead and rising again, for choosing me to be Your own and bringing me to trust in the Gospel promises, for granting me pardon and forgiveness through faith in Your shed blood, and for interceding for Me before the Father's throne. Grant that I hold fast to You in faith for life everlasting. Amen.
[Scripture is quoted from the Revised Common Version of the Bible. Devotion is by Randy Moll. He may be contacted by email at [email protected] More of Moll's devotional writings may be freely read at https://goodshepherdonline.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.]